“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” - Lance Armstrong
It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon here on Galveston Island and my daughter was excited to get outside and ride her bike. Let me give you a little background information before we dive into the good stuff. It’s the beginning of April and we bought her this bike last May for her sixth birthday. I’m ashamed to say that we’ve only taken her out to teach her how to ride a handful of times. I am sure you can relate to being a beginner at something or helping a beginner and how those first few attempts can be crazy frustrating so much so everyone wants to throw in the towel. That is how the handful of attempts previously went which is why there was only a handful of them.
Fast forward to yesterday my daughter, Maddi decided she wanted to ride her bike with one of the neighborhood kids. So I took her outside to let her give it a go. I followed a few feet behind which was the first day she rode her bike without me having to hold on to her or be two steps behind. Can you say serious progress, I was super excited and proud of her, I also noticed how proud of herself she was.
She wasn’t comparing herself to the neighborhood kid who had a bigger bike, more experience, and no training wheels. Instead, she was enjoying the fact that she could actually ride her bike without falling over every few feet or having me push her.
Having had such an amazing experience yesterday Maddi decided she wanted to get back outside and ride again today. After getting back home from our breakfast date we pushed her bike outside and there she went again. Only something began to change from yesterday. Before I knew it she was saying that today was not a good day, she wasn’t having as much fun, she wasn’t doing good on her bike today, and things just weren’t working out. Negative Nancy was in full effect and it was really tough for me as her mom to listen to her talk this way. She had that cute but sour patch face on, lip poked out, and watery eyes at times.
Are you wondering why I’m sharing my daughter’s bike riding experience with you? Like come on Staci, what has this got to do with helping me in my life? Trust me there is always a reason I share things from my personal life. This experience can definitely help all of us in our day-to-day life.
The important thing to remember from this experience is that some days we do better than others. Some days we are awesome, we are taking names and kicking butt, we feel like we can conquer everything that comes our way right, and things just seem to fall in place. Then other days, maybe even the very next day, it's like we don't have it, we try and try only to fail, we feel stuck and frustrated, things aren't going as easily, our ideas seem to be all dried up, our strength isn’t there and we feel kind of blah. If we keep trying when we are feeling like this we become more and more frustrated with ourselves, we begin to tell ourselves that we aren’t capable, and we begin sinking deeper and deeper into a negative mindset.
This is exactly where we do not want to be, this is a situation we do not want to put ourselves in because with each negative thing that we speak and think about ourselves the further down the hole we dig. When we find ourselves in the midst of these type of days where we feel like we can't get it together and we don't have what it takes instead of trying to force it we can take a step back.
Just like I told my daughter today don't be so hard on yourself you're really not doing as bad as you think. In all reality, she had been freaking out more when she felt a little bit off balance than she had the day before. It seems like today she was in her head more than she was yesterday, she was more in the moment yesterday, she was enjoying what she was doing, she was gaining confidence because she knew that's the best she'd ever done on her bike.
By being in her head more today it meant that she was being critical of herself instead of allowing herself to enjoy the experience. Do you ever find yourself being so critical of yourself you simply cannot enjoy the experience? If you are being honest then you answered yes. We all have days like this and if we can just step back and notice that we're having one of those days we can change our perception and our attitude. It might mean that we need to take a step back and stop what we're doing, maybe it's not a good time to work on whatever it is it working on. It could be more beneficial for us to get still and see what’s coming up for us in the moment.
I want to give you four tips you can use to get yourself out of this funky mindset and back into a positive one.
#1: STOP. INHALE. EXHALE. REPEAT.
I know this seems so basic and simple, right? But truly stopping and taking a few seconds to just take those big deep breaths and exhale all that negative energy out and breathe a sigh of relief helps. You can also tell yourself something like this, “everything is working out for my good.” Turn it into your mantra for the day or the week if you’d like.
Are you rolling your eyes right now? Are you thinking ugh, another person is telling me to write out some affirmations and repeat them to myself and all will be right in my world? I was once that girl, rolling my eyes, feeling like someone was pulling my leg, stringing me along to a dead end road. I went through an extended period of time where I felt that affirmations didn't change anything for me. Until I came across someone who gave me a different way to use them. She explained that it wasn’t enough to just write out some emotionless affirmation and repeat it to myself (which is what I had tried in the past). No, these affirmations need to mean something to you, they need to make you feel something inside, when you read them they evoke emotion within you, it becomes personal for you. This way whenever you recite them aloud or mentally you create a connection, that emotion runs through your body, maybe you get the chills or your eyes being to water with joy.
Let’s use the example of my daughter struggling with riding her bike. She could create affirmations such as these; “I know I'm capable of riding my bike, I know I'm capable of riding my bike today, tomorrow, and forever, I know I'm going to have so much fun riding my bike with my friends and my family.” Things like this that mean something to her and give her something to look forward to in the near future.
I love to journal! I journal everything from ideas, feelings, emotions, situations that have me feeling stuck, frustrated, confused, prayers, gratitude, future accomplishments, and so much more. Journaling has many benefits such as helping us to later reflect on prayers answered, growth we have experienced, lessons we have learned, situations that worked themselves out, ideas that got tweaked, ideas that worked, and all the things we can be grateful for. You see that you can journal out your situation, how you're feeling about it, dive into the fears you feel are coming up, prayers you need for the situation, and so much more.
I find that getting my Bible out and reading scripture gives my soul life again and again. I can see all the amazing things God says about me, who God says I am, the qualities God has created me with, and so much more. In the Bible, God says that we are more than conquerors, that he has given us a spirit of faith not one of fear. So often we forget that and we go back to living in the spirit of fear, therefore, we must be intentional about stepping into the spirit of faith, reading the word, and leaning into fear.
I’ve given you a few simple yet effective tools that you can implement any time you are feeling off, frustrated, stuck, and/or negative. I want to leave you with this, be kind to yourself, life is all about trial and error, we all fall down and it’s totally normal to do so, just make sure you get back up. Below you can download a free copy of our journal prompts to help get you started or to refresh your journal process.
Go out make today great for you and all of those around you beautiful lady.
Until next time here is to your dreams coming true.